You know how important it is, but many times you forget the most important aspect of training, or want to save time, and just go in and start throwing weights around. In the long run, this will cause lots of problems that are just not worth saving time.

Everybody needs to realize how important a warm up really is and how much it helps in attacking the training session.

A good warm up prepares your body and your nervous system for a hard workout, eliminating your weak links and improving the quality of your movements. The results of a well-done warm up are less injury and more muscle.


Here are exactly the things that a good proper warm up helps you with:

- It gets your blood flowing

- Loosens the joints and increases blood flow to the muscles

- Increases your body temperature and brings the heart rate up

- Increases circulation

- Prepares your muscles for physical activity

- Enhances your abilities to lift heavier weights with great technique

- Prevents injuries


The mobility of the arms and shoulders is essential for a safe and strong workout. Any activity that uses the arms and shoulders could cause injury if the muscles aren’t properly stretched out. Some of the most common weight training injuries involve the shoulder joint.

A proper warm up and stretching of the arms and shoulders will help prepare you for a range of activities. Whether you lift, cross train, swim, or perform any other sports such as tennis or baseball, you need your arms and shoulders to be strong and flexible.

No matter what kind of upper body activities you do, regular exercises to stretch and warm up will benefit your arms and shoulders.


Here are 4 stretching exercises that hit the needed muscles in your arms and shoulders.


Shoulder circles

Stand with your feet slightly apart and let your arms hang by your sides. Roll your shoulders behind you in a circular motion for 10 times and then switch directions for another 10 reps. Only your shoulders have to be in motion during this stretch.


Arm circles

Stand with your arms out to the sides so that your body forms a "T". Start making small circular motions with both arms and enlarge the circles so that you reach your full range of motion. Do 15 reps and then reverse direction. If you want to go more intense, start slow and ramp up the speed to fully engage the muscles.


Bicep warm up

Hold a light dumbbell in each hand and sit backwards on a chair or use a preacher bench so that you have something to rest your shoulder against. Start with arm curled in and the dumbbell at shoulder height. Lower your arms until fully extended and bring them back doing 15 reps.


Triceps extensions

Grip a light weight (3-15 pounds) with both hands. While standing, start with the weight above your head. The weight should be resting on your palms with your thumbs around it and palms facing up. Keeping your shoulders steady, bend the elbows back and lower the weight behind your head. Lift the weight back until arms are fully extended and do two sets of 15 reps.


And here are three efficient warm up routines for the upper body:

#1 – Jump rope (3 minutes)

– Shoulder bridging (10 reps for each side)

– Push-ups (20 reps)

– Med ball wall dribbling (10 times)

– Dumbbell raises (10 reps)

– External rotations (10 reps each arm)


#2 – Jump rope (3 minutes)

– Lateral stretches (5 for each side)

– Dumbbell presses (10 reps)

– Cable face pulls (10 reps)

– Muscle snatches (10 reps)

– Band pull-apart (10 times)


#3 – Rowing machine (2 minutes)

– Arm circles (1 minute)

– Tractions (2 minutes)

– Pullups (5 reps)

– Cable face pulls (10 reps)

– Dumbbell raises (10 reps)



Give these warm up routines a try on your upper body days and even on squat days when you need to get rid of tight shoulders. The warm up routines are easy and they work.

Following the warm up and several minutes of stretching, you’re ready to start your workout. We recommend starting slow, with fewer reps (anywhere from 3 to 5) and with a weight at roughly 50% of your target work load. Rest briefly and begin a gradual overload for getting every needed muscle group ready.


Starting your workouts with a well put together protocol will have you, your joints and your muscles better prepared for a strength workout.

It doesn’t take much time and it surely beats having to deal with the problems that can occur if you don’t do the warm up and stretching before exercising.

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